Memphis to honor journalist and activist Ida B. Wells

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The legacy of the trailblazing journalist and activist Ida B. Wells is being honored in Memphis in a monumental way.

“We’re in the midst of a revolution. Cultural, political and economic revolution,” said LaSimba M. Gray Jr., Memphis Memorial Committee.

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Wells’s legacy of fearlessness, heroism and strength will be memorialized forever in the heart of downtown Memphis. 

“She was an educator, she was a social worker, she even started programs in Chicago for people coming from the cotton fields to the factory,” said Gray.

Wells was an investigative journalist who lived from 1862 to 1931. She was most famous for leading an anti-lynching crusade in America in the late 1800s.

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“Her paper was in this church on the basement level, where she ran her newspaper the Free Speech and Headlines,” said Gray.

To honor Wells’s many contributions, the Memphis Memorial Committee will unveil a statue of Wells at the corner of Fourth and Beale on her birthday Friday morning. 

“Ida B. Wells remains a symbol of defiance. A symbol of fighting and winning,” said Gray.

The Memphis Memorial Committee is hosting events all week leading up to Friday to celebrate Wells. Here is the full schedule.